Gallacher gets second European Tour win in Dubai
October 10th, 2004.
That was the date of Stephen Gallacher’s last win on the European Tour. That day he won the Dunhill Links Championship, taking down a young Graeme McDowell in a playoff. Nearly nine years later, Gallacher has his second European Tour title, winning today’s Omega Dubai Desert Classic at the Emirates Golf Club.
Gallacher carried a three shot lead into Sunday over opening round leader Richard Sterne, but the gap was closed early as Gallacher carded a pair of bogeys to open his round, while Sterne birdied the second. The two went back and forth all round until Gallacher holed out for eagle on the 16th from just over 100 yards. That combined with back-to-back bogeys on 15 and 16 gave Gallacher a four-shot lead with only two holes to play. Gallacher ended up regaining his three-shot lead from the start of the day, getting to 22-under par and picking up up his second European Tour win.
Notes on Gallacher and his win
- The win moves Gallacher into the top-60 in the Official World Golf Rankings, and assuming he keeps up some decent form, he should qualify for the Match Play in a couple of weeks.
- If he can manage to play really well and get into the top-50, he’ll qualify for the Masters for the first time in his career.
- By winning, he’s now fully exempt on the European Tour until the end of 2015.
- His 22-under par score ties the tournament record set by Thomas Bjorn who won the event in 2001.
- The hole out on 16 was actually his fourth hole out of the week, which goes more towards luck than good play, but obviously Gallacher will take it.
Shot of the tournament
Gallacher’s hole out on 16 is what won him the tournament. The look on his face after it lands in the cup is almost one of embarrassment. Four hole outs in a tournament is a rarity, so it’s almost as if Gallacher felt bad about it.
Westwood and Garcia
Lee Westwood’s first event of the year was better than I thought it would be, finishing in a tie for fifth. All four rounds were under par, and by all accounts, his short game was actually in order this week. I’m still a little wary about his outlook for the season, but he really couldn’t have hoped for a better start to his 2013 season. Sergio Garcia faded a little bit as the weekend rolled around, but considering his past at this event, it’s not surprising. Still though, just like Westwood, all four rounds were under par this week.
Other notes from the tournament
- Another good finish (T-3) for Thorbjorn Olesen this week, who I pegged as my top pick for the tournament on Tuesday. It’s almost a good idea to throw your money down blindly on him until he has a bad week. He’ll win at least once this season.
- Robert Rock had his first quality finish in a long time, making only three bogeys in his final 54 holes. His T-7 was the first top-10 finish he’s had in a regular stroke play event since winning in Abu Dhabi in January of 2012.
- Last week’s winner Chris Wood finished in a tie for 30th.
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